Mr Biodun Oyebanji
The Independent National Electoral Commission has declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Biodun Oyebanji, the winner of the Ekiti State governorship election.
The Returning Officer for the election, Prof Kayode Adebowale, who is the Vice Chancellor, the University of Ibadan, announced the results.
Adebowale said, “Oyebanji, having scored the highest number of votes is hereby declared the winner and returned elected as the governor-elect of Ekiti State”
The APC scored 187,057 votes to defeat its closest rival, the SDP, which garnered 82,211 votes, the PDP, which got 67,457 votes and 13 other parties which participated in Saturday’s governorship election.
Out of the 360,753 votes cast, the total valid votes in the election were 351,865.
While the agent of SDP, Owoseeni Ajayi, did not sign the forms for the votes cast, the agent of the ADP, said, “Instead of having polling centres, what we have in Ekiti are vote-buying centres”.
Ekiti State’s sixth governorship election is took place across 177 wards in 16 local government areas. In addition, today is the election day for the Ekiti East House of Assembly Constituency One.
This will be the first election under the new Electoral Act.
There are 16 political parties participating of which 14 are men and two are women.
988,923 registered voters in 2,445 Polling Units, PUs in 177 registration areas, three senatorial districts, six federal constituencies, and 26 state constituencies are participating in the election.
749,065 Permanent Voter Cards, or PVCs, had been collected throughout the state as of June 13.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, or INEC, has announced that voting will take place using a continuous accreditation and voting mechanism, using the 3,346 Bimodal Voter Authentication and Verification System.
Four INEC national commissioners and eight resident electoral commissioners were deployed, along with 87 national observers, 79 domestic observers, and eight international observers.
The police ordered that movement be restricted between six o’clock in the morning and five o’clock in the evening.
Photos by Kayode Oyedare for Radio Nigeria
INEC personnel and election materials arrived early in parts of the Ado-Ekiti LGA.
As of 8 a.m., ad hoc officers, election materials, and security agencies were already present at some polling units, according to our Correspondent Kayode Oyedare.
The ad hoc officer was already setting up PU 031, Ward 10 at All Soul’s Anglican Grammer School, Oke Iyin Road, Ado-Ekiti Local Government Area, at 7.36 a.m.
Tope Isaac, the poling unit’s presiding officer, stated that all election materials were ready for the poll to begin.
The polling booth was set for the start of the election at 8.05am at PU 002, Ward 10 at Set Mango, Ado ‘J’ Okesa, Banks Road, Ado-Ekiti, with 2,487 registered voters.
Awolola Oluwatosin, the Presiding Officer of the Polling Unit, told the voters that accreditation and voting would begin at 8.30 a.m.
Oluwatosin, who spoke in Yoruba, requested their cooperation.
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for Niger, Sam Egwu, who is in charge of election supervision, was spotted at the polling stations.
Incumbent governor Kayode Fayemi and APC candidate, Biodun Oyebanji, has since voted.
Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, praised the high voter turnout.
Addressing reporters after voting at Balogun polling unit in his hometown of Iyin Ekiti Ifelodun local government area, he said the turnout demonstrated that the people of Ekiti are ready to participate in the nation’s electoral process.
He also praised the professionalism of security agents, INEC officers, and ad hoc staff.
He urged INEC, however, to ensure that BVAS worked flawlessly so that all those in line could exercise their franchise.
Dr Abdullahi Bello, National Secretary of the Voters Assembly, an NGO, called for the deployment of anti-corruption officers to combat the recurring incidence of materials and financial inducement of voters during elections.
He stated on Ekiti Mandate Studio, a Radio Nigeria Network Program about the governorship election, that the practise has harmed the democratic process.
Mr. Osaretin Imahiyereobo, INEC’s former Director of Voter Education, stated that there was a need to reduce the massive deployment of security officials during elections to boost voter confidence and reduce apathy, while encouraging voter education to motivate large turnout at elections.
According to an early report, there was a high voter turnout, peaceful conduct, and functional equipment.
The accreditation and voting will end at 2:30 p.m., with any voter already in line being allowed to vote.
The Presiding Officers are expected to submit a clean image of the result sheet EC8A for collation purposes after an election and completion of the results management procedure at the polling station.
Following then, the result will be sent to the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IREV).
The hard copy of the form and the BVAS would also be delivered by hand to the Registration Area RA collation officer to check that the number of accredited voters in the machine matches the number in the form.
The candidates are Abiodun Oyebanji of the All Progressives Congress APC, Olabisi Kolapo of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP and Olusegun Oni of the Social Democratic Party SDP
Others are Reuben Famuyibo of Accord A, Ajagunigbale Olajide of African Action Congress AAC, Oluwole Oluyede of the African Democratic Congress ADC, Elebute-Halle Kemi of Action Democratic Party ADP and Benjamin Obidoyin of the All Progressives Grand Alliance APGA
Also contesting are Fagbemi Adegbenro of Allied Peoples Movement APM, Christiana Olatawura of All People’s Party APP, Daramola Olugbenga Onile of Labour Party LP Fatomilola Oladosu of New Nigeria Peoples Party NNPP and Iyaniwura Ifedayo of the National Rescue Movement NRM.
Also in the race are Agboola Ben of the Peoples Redemption Party, Adebowale Oluranti Ajayi of Young Progressives Party YPP and Adeolu Akinyemi of Zenith Labour Party ZLP.
Vote buying, late voting
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, or EFCC, has arrested individuals suspected of engaging in vote-buying.
The accused were paraded at the Nigeria Police Force’s Oke Ori Omi Division’s Oke Ori Omi Area.
The suspects were said to have been arrested with money used for vote-buying, according to an eyewitness.
Other others were apprehended with a book containing voter information at a private residence.
As of 2:45 p.m., voting at Polling Unit 17, Better Life Area/Basiri IV, Ado Ekiti, has not yet concluded.
This is the same location where NSCDC officers fired a shot earlier this morning in an attempt to pacify the gathering.
The breakdown of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS equipment, alarmed some voters in one of the voting units in Ikosu (RDM) Ekiti, Moba LGA.
They claimed that only 12 people had voted as of this morning.
Voters in Ola Oluwa Ado Ekiti’s unit seven reported that only one BVAS machine was deployed for a population of over 2000.
Backup BIVAS equipment and Registration Area Centre Technologists have been deployed, according to INEC spokesperson Mr Femi Akinbiyi.
Reporting by Kayode Oyedare in Ekiti, with additional reporting by Oriola Afolabi in Ado Ekiti, Daniel Adejo and Abubakar Bestu in Abuja: Editing by Saadatu Albashir